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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

The well attended Royal Cork Yacht Club Laying Up Supper last weekend featured some important club annual awards presentations by Admiral Pat Farnan witnessed this year by special guests from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes writes Bob Bateman.

Neighbouring Cork clubs were well represented too with Kinsale Yacht Club's Commodore Dave O'Sullivan, Commodore Kieran Dorgan from Cove Sailing Club, Johanna Murphy, Commodore of SCORA and the Naval Squadron's Brian Matthews all attending.

Special guests at this year's supper were Bruce Mauleverer and Trish Lewington, Secretary, of the Royal Yacht Squadron from Cowes. 

Anthony O'LearyAnthony O'Leary was named RCYC Sailor of the Year

RCYC's Sailor of the Year was awarded to Anthony O'Leary who was presented with the Doyle Family Trophy for his outstanding performance in the United States in September. O'Leary and an RCYC crew took Bronze at the New York Invitational Cup as Afloat reported here

This year’s Cruising Boat of the Year Trophy was awarded to Split Point Skippered by Maeve McDonagh and Seamus Gilroy. The cruising duo embarked on a cruise of 890 nautical miles, on their Dufour 34 taking in the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, Devon and Brittany. The cruise visited over 12 different ports, all of which had their own unique navigational and pilotage and returning to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour some 24 days later.

 DSC3504Bruce Mauleverer Royal Yacht Squadron, Gavin Deane Gen Mng. Royal Cork, Trish Lewington, Secretary Royal Yacht Squadron, Admiral Pat Farnan, Royal Cork and Colin Morehead Vice Admiral Royal Cork

Michael Murphy, from RCYC and Schull Harbour Sailing Club who owns and sails the Moody 30 “Shelly D” was awarded a special prize for supporting the Autumn Leagues for 40 years in the same boat, as reported by Afloat here. Afloat Correspondent Tom MacSweeney also featured Murphy in a recent podcast here.

 DSC3504 Michael Murphy, from RCYC and Schull Harbour Sailing Club “Shelly D” was awarded a special prize for supporting the Autumn Leagues for 40 years in the same boat

Rebecca O’Shaughnessy was awarded Under 25 Sailor of the Year, one of her achievements was being a member of Andrew Crosbie's crew onboard a National 18 that won the Royal Cork PY1000 Race back in March.

 DSC3504Rebecca O’Shaughnessy - Under 25 Sailor of the Year

Celine McGrath was awarded RCYC Volunteer of the Year.

 DSC3504Celine McGrath - Volunteer of the Year

For competing in away events, the Jones Family were awarded (National) Boat of the Year for their competitive J109 entry Jelly Baby that was unfortunately involved in a collision at the of the season in the Winter League. 

 DSC3504The Jones Family were awarded (National) Boat of the Year for their competitive J109 entry Jelly Baby

Published in Cruising

With Cork Harbour Winter racing falling victim to gales like Dublin Bay, Royal Cork Yacht Club presented the overall prizes for its O'Leary Insurance Winter League writes Bob Bateman.

Competitors gathered in the bar of the RCYC for mulled wine and mince pies and for the Christmas presentation of the 'Irish Mist' Perpetual Trophy in Memory of Archie O’Leary a former Admiral of the Club. 

In the spinnaker division, Anthony O Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat continued its series-long lead to collect the overall trophy. Second was the J24 YaGottaWanna with the Sunfast 32 Bad Company (Desmond/Ivers/Deasy) in third place.

Paul and Deirdre Tingle's X34 Alpaca was the winner of the 15-boat White Sail division. Second was Aidan Heffernan's Dufour 36 Indulgence. Third was the HB 31 Luas skippered by Sean Hanley.

Full results are here. Prizegiving photos below.

 DSC3588Denis Murphy's 'Nieulargo' was second in Spin 1 IRC

 DSC3588 Clem and Wendy McElligott who each year lay up their Sigma 33 Sea Hawk and become ROs for the winter League

 DSC3588Paul Tingle's “Alpaca” was the All in W/S winner

 DSC3588David Jones (tight) was the Winner (Under 25 Fleet)

 DSC3588Dave Lane, Ye Gotta Wanna” ,1st Spinnaker Echo

 DSC3562Rear Admiral Cruising Mike Rider, 1st White Sail2 EchoSean Hanley Luas 1st White Sail2 IRCSean Hanley, Luas 1st White Sail2 IRC

Frank Caul,  John Molloy Prince of Tides 2nd White Sail1 EchoFrank Caul, John Molloy Prince of Tides 2nd White Sail1 EchoAidan Heffernan Indulgence2nd White Sail IRCAidan Heffernan, Indulgence 2nd White Sail IRC

Frank Desmon, 'Bad Company' Spinnaker 2 IRC  Frank Desmon, 'Bad Company' Spinnaker 2 IRC

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world, today launched its online entry system for the prestigious Volvo Cork Week 2020 regatta which will see hundreds of boats and thousands of yachtsmen and women from around the globe compete on the waters around Cork Harbour from July 13th – 17th.

The world-renowned biennial regatta, first held in 1978, is expected to attract a bumper fleet of entries and will this year incorporate the Irish Cruiser Racing Association National Championships, 1720 European Championships, the Beaufort Cup, a Classic Yacht regatta and the southern championships for the International Dragon Class.

All qualifying boats entered in Volvo Cork Week 2020 will automatically be entered into the ICRA National Championships, the pinnacle of the Irish inshore cruiser racing calendar which will see the Irish National Champion declared.

Volvo Cork Week has historically been regarded as a ‘must-do’ regatta on the international sailing calendar due to its unparalleled reputation for exhilarating competitive racing over a variety of race courses in fair sailing waters and its incredible line-up of post-racing off the water entertainment and social activity.

mariette corkMariette will attend Cork300 celebrations this July Photo: Bob Bateman

This year’s Volvo Cork Week has extra special significance as it forms a key part of the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s historic ‘Cork300’ celebrations marking what is the oldest yacht club in the world’s tricentenary.

Volvo Cork Week Director of Racing, Rosscoe Deasy said: "I look forward to welcoming sailors from around the world to Cork Harbour in 2020 in celebration of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's tri-centennial year. We have a packed schedule and the season's centrepiece will be the renowned Volvo Cork Week in July. Notably, the 2020 regatta will also include championship events such as the IRC Europeans, the ICRA Nationals, the 1720 Europeans and the Beaufort Cup.

1720 racing cork week1720 Euoprean racing will be staged as part of Cork Week Photo: Bob Bateman

“Since 1978, every Cork Week has delivered a unique mix of top-notch competition afloat & top-class entertainment ashore, and next year will be no different. In fact, judging by the interest received and the stories of glory days already being retold, Volvo Cork Week 2020 will set a new standard on both counts. This event has been 300 years in the making, no sailor should miss it.”

Richard Colwell, Commodore of the Irish Cruising Racing Association said, “The ICRA is delighted to be partnering with the Royal Cork Yacht Club to hold the Irish Cruiser Racing National Championships as an integral part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. We encourage all of the cruiser racing fraternity in Ireland to travel and take part in what promises to be an exciting and competitive event, as part of Royal Cork’s broader Tricentenary celebrations. With visitors from countries all over Europe, it is important that Irish Cruiser Racing shows the strength that we have across all classes from White Sails to Cruiser 0 at the National Championships and so contribute to the competitive racing expected.”

A bumper fleet of more than 50 yachts from Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Spain and elsewhere around Europe is expected to compete in the 1720 Sports Boat European Championships as part of Volvo Cork Week 2020. The race committee is particularly pleased to host this European Championship event due in part to the fact that the original idea for the 1720 was conceived by a group of committed racing members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This distinctive class of boat also took its name from the year in which the club was founded.

Beaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob BatemanBeaufort Cup racing for Military and rescue teams as part of Cork Week 300 celebrations Photo: Bob Bateman

The third edition of the Beaufort Cup, the prestigious international inter-services sailing regatta, will also be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club with the support of the Irish Defence Forces, during Volvo Cork Week. A specially commissioned perpetual trophy in honour of Sir Francis Beaufort, creator of the Beaufort Scale, will be presented to the overall winner of the regatta which will entail a mix of challenging offshore and tactical inshore racing, including an overnight race around the iconic Fastnet Rock and back to Cork. International teams from their associated national emergency services are invited to compete in this prestigious competition, with the proviso that 50% of each team must be active in the service they represent.
Volvo Cork Week will also host a dedicated Classic Yacht Regatta for the first time in 2020. Classic Yachts from around the globe will sail to Cork to celebrate ‘Where It All Began’ and partake in three days of racing in and outside Cork Harbour. This event will also provide a fantastic viewing spectacle for shoreline onlookers.

Ross DeasyRoss Deasy, Cork Week Regatta Organiser

In addition to this, the International Dragon Class will return to Volvo Cork Week in 2020 following their very successful outing in 2018, to hold their Southern Championships in Cork.
Royal Cork Yacht Club is also delighted to host the recently announced 2020 IRC European Championships, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), during Volvo Cork Week 2020. The Notice of Race and online entry for this much anticipated standalone event offering a varied race programme, with a mixed range of courses set in and around Cork Harbour, is expected to be available shortly.

As always, the atmosphere in Crosshaven, home of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, will be second to none both during and ahead of Volvo Cork Week 2020, with a series of national and international races to Cork taking place in the run up to the five-day regatta.

These include the highly prestigious Morgan Cup race - organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club since 1958 - which will cross the Celtic Sea to Cork for the first time ever with the support of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This 324nm race will carry an attractive points-weighting for the 2020 RORC Season Points Championship and is expected to attract a substantial fleet. The line honours winner for this race will be the first recipient of a specially commissioned perpetual trophy graciously donated to the Royal Cork Yacht Club by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to honour the club’s tricentenary and the close relationship between the United Kingdom, Ireland and its sailing communities.

morehead monaco farnon6Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead (left) with His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco (centre) and Royal Cork Admiral Pat Farnan

Meanwhile, the historic Kingstown to Queenstown feeder race from Dun Laoghaire to Cobh will take place on July 9th, enhancing the build-up to Volvo Cork Week 2020 with a re-enactment of what is acknowledged as the first-ever offshore race to take place in the British Isles, in 1860.

A competitive fleet will also set sail on an 800nm race from Heligoland, Germany, to Cork, Ireland, on July 4th competing for the Robbe and Berking German Offshore Trophy, arriving ahead in Ireland of the historic Volvo Cork Week 2020.

Vice-Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Cork300 Chairman, Colin Morehead, said: “The biennial Cork Week regatta has seen many friendships and memories created since it was first held in 1978. I would encourage everyone to return to Cork Harbour next year and join us in celebrating Where It All Began by participating in Volvo Cork Week 2020 and help restore its status as Europe’s largest fun regatta.

Online entry to Volvo Cork Week 2020 opens here from 10:00hrs Thursday 28th November.

Published in Cork Harbour

Today's fourth race of the O'Leary Winter League at Royal Cork Yacht Club was not for the faint-hearted writes Bob Bateman.

Strong wind over tide produced testing conditions in Cork Harbour that led to the dismasting of Kieran O’Brien's MG335 Magnet. O'Brien now lies third in the White Sail division after counting a retiral from today's race.

Shelly D (Michael Murphy) had a block collapse that also led to their retiral from the White Sail Division.

RCYC OLeary league1Anthony O Leary's modified 1720 Antix leads the IRC SPIN division overall

RCYC OLeary league1Annamarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo is lying second in the IRC Spinnaker Division

RCYC OLeary league1Richard Leonard's Bolero, Bandit

RCYC OLeary league1Mike Ryder's Freya, a Dehler 37

RCYC OLeary league1The fleet at Royal Cork Marina

Full results here

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Junior sailing achievement was honoured at Royal Cork Yacht Club's laying up supper and youth prizegiving at the Crosshaven Clubhouse at the weekend writes Bob Bateman. 

A full house was in attendance to salute Optimist champion James Dwyer Matthews who won the main prize donated by Roy Disney from a shortlist of five top RCYC achievers.

RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan presented the prizes in the company of the club's flag officers and junior class captain, parents and sailors.

RCYC Junior 20191James Dwyer Matthews receives his prize from RCYC Admiral Pat Farnan (right) and Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones

RCYC Junior 20191Robyn Lynch took a lead roll in “Try Sailing. Fiona Young (left) made the presentation

RCYC Junior 20191Fiona Young Mixed Dinghy Class Captain makes a special award to Chris Bateman

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191Celine McGrath and Fiona Young

RCYC Junior 20191Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones addresses the Junior Prizegiving

RCYC Junior 20191The Optimist Class Captain Craig O’Neill

RCYC Junior 20191Copper Fleet winners Fionn Hayes and Olin Bateman

RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191JAndrew O'Neill first in silver

RCYC Junior 20191JP Curtin ist Gold Liam Duggan 2nd Gold Harry Moynan 3rd Gold Optimists

RCYC Junior 20191James Coakley, Ella O’Neill, Julie O’ Neill, Pat, James Murphy, Richard Mc Sweeney, Justin Lucas,Jamie Verrer,James Dwyer Matthews.RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191

RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191RCYC Junior 20191

 DSC3426The Frank Thompson Memorial Perpetual Cup for outstanding contribution to RCYC Dinghy Sailing to Barbie and Clayton Kohl included in the picture are Admiral Pat Farnan and Rear Admiral Dinghies Brian Jones

Published in Youth Sailing
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In a brisk northerly breeze, Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series reached the halfway stage this afternoon with three great days of sailing so far this November writes Bob Bateman.

Crews were back on Cork Harbour waters today after Friday's RCYC clubhouse celebrations for the Summer League prizegivings that Afloat featured here

Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' continues to lead overall in the IRC Spinnaker Division but Annemarie and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil Nieulargo is up to second place. 

"Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott made good use of the harbour with Course 65"

Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott used the opportunity presented by the stiff breeze to make good use of the harbour and set course 65 to give crews plenty of chances to demonstrate their skills, especially in the spinnaker fleets.

Unfortunately, a startline collision took place between Cavatina and Jelly Baby with some resulting damage.

Jelly Baby Hull damageHull damage on the J109 Jelly Baby after today's race course collision

The Winter League has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

Bob Bateman's photo gallery is below. Full results here

The startline for race threeThe startline for race three

John Hanly and John OConnors Fast BuckJohn Hanly and John OConnor's Fast Buck

NieulargoNieulargoMia Murphy with Nigel Young on NieuglargoMia Murphy with Nigel Young (left) on Nieuglargo

nieulargo breezeNieulargo (owned by Annmarie and Denis Murphy) with Mia Murphy on helm revelling in the conditions

Alan Mulcahy Runaway BusAlan Mulcahy's Runaway Bus

Approaching Mark in Cork HarbourApproaching a turning mark in Cork Harbour

 DSC3147(Above and below) A gybe on Antix DSC3147

 DSC3147 DSC3147 DSC3147 DSC3147

PB170738Race Officers Clem and Wendy McElligott

PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738Ian Heffernan’s IndulgencePB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738PB170738

Published in Royal Cork YC
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A Royal Cork Yacht Club members forum at Crosshaven reviewed the 2019 racing season, ECHO handicapping and discussed options for 2020 last night before the club held its league prizegiving.

The winners of its series of year-long club leagues in Cork Harbour were applauded and presented with a fine range of trophies.

Prizes were presented by the Club's Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell.

Another club prizegiving will be held on December 7th where the Club's own sailor of the year award will be made.

RCYC League prizegiving1The super line up of RCYC League Prizes

Winners Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman below 

RCYC League prizegiving2Kieran O’Brien's “Magnet”, second in RCYC Superleague is presented with his trophy by RCYC Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell (right)

RCYC League prizegiving3Sean Hanley's ”Luas” Fitzgerald’s Menswear IRC W/S 3rd and Ronan Enright Solicitors League 1st in Spinnaker 2 Division

RCYC League prizegiving4Ria Lyden's” Elida” winner of Ronan Enright Solicitors League Echo Spinnaker 1

RCYC League prizegiving5Frank Desmond's “Bad Company” winner of Ronan Enright Solicitors League IRC Spinnaker 2 IRC

RCYC League prizegiving6Jim Hughes's Club 1720 2nd IHS in Ronan Enright Solicitors League

RCYC League prizegiving7Batt O’Leary's “Sweet Dreams” Winner IHS in Ronan Enright Solicitors League

RCYC League prizegiving8Molly Murphy ”Nieulargo” winner of Club Echo Spinnaker Division North Sails League. Pictured With Nigel Young of North Sails RCYC League prizegiving9Kian Jones “Jelly Baby” winner of North Sails League IRC spinnaker Division

RCYC League prizegiving10Mark Ivers of “Bad Company”, Winner Of North Sails League Spinnaker 2 Division

RCYC League prizegiving12Wendy Mc Elligott” Sea Hawk” Fitzgerald’s Menswear LeagueWinner Club Echo Spinnaker Division

RCYC League prizegiving13Mary Jones “Jelly Baby” winner Fitzgerald’s Menswear IRC1 Spinnaker Division RCYC League prizegiving14Eugene O’Loughlin “Kerensa” 3rd Fitzgerald’s Menswear IHS Division

RCYC League prizegiving15(Above and below) Clodagh O’Donovan, “Roaring Forties”, winner Of the best performing Boat on IHS for the year

RCYC League prizegiving17

RCYC League prizegiving18Ian Hickey “Cavatina” winner of the best performing White Sail boat

RCYC League prizegiving19(above and below) Denis Byrne, winner of the best performing boat of the year in Spinnaker 2

RCYC League prizegiving21

RCYC League prizegiving20Brian Jones “Jelly Baby” Winner of the best performing boat in Class 1

Published in Royal Cork YC
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A gathering at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven this month celebrated the 40 consecutive years that the Moody 30, Shelly D and her various crews, have competed in the Autumn league writes Bob Bateman.

Purchased in 1978 at the Southampton Boat Show by Derval and Michael Murphy, after a meeting on the Moody boat show stand with designer Angus Primrose, she was delivered to Kinsale in Easter 1979.

Over the years she has been a regular competitor in all south coast events spending most of the summer months in Schull, West Cork before returning to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour for the annual winter series.

PA061181Shelly D, the Moody 30 sailed in her 40th Autumn League in October Photo: Bob Bateman

In the early eighties, she competed regularly in the Cork to Jersey and Kinsale Isles of Scilly offshore Races, with crew members, some of whom met again at the function, after a gap of up to 35 years.

With engine number three recently fitted, all are looking forward to season 41 which will include the RCYC 300 celebrations.

 DSC2840(above) Owners Derval and Michael Murphy and (below) celebrating the big 40 with friends and family at the Royal Cork Photos: Bob Bateman

 DSC2921

Published in Cork Harbour
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Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' was in a dead heat with Richard Leonard's Bolero Bandit in the second race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series writes Bob Bateman.

O'Leary still leads overall in the IRC Spinnaker Division with Leonard second and the Sunfast 32 Bad Company in third place.

Today's race featured an all-in start for the combined fleet for the Winter League that has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

 DSC2942Today's light air second race of the Winter League Photo: Bob Bateman

Results here

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 sportsboat 'Antix' leads IRC Spinnaker Division One after today's first race of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series writes Bob Bateman.

After a dull start for the opening race, the day turned out to be very pleasant for this time of year giving competitors 15-knots of breeze from the west.

Traditionally, Clem and Wendy McElligott act as Race Officers for this RCYC league and so it was again this year.

Today's opener featured an all-in start for the combined fleet for the Winter League has four divisions; Club ECHO Spinnaker, CLUB ECHO White Sails and IRC Spinnaker and IRC White Sails with ECHO White Sails the biggest with 14 entries.

RCYC OLeary League1JellyBaby the Jones family J109 is second to the mod 1720 Antix after the first race of the RCYC O'Leary League. Photo: Bob Bateman

The course chosen was 73 that provided a running start at Cage (at the entrance to Crosshaven) across the harbour to the Corkbeg mark, then a beat back across the harbour again nd then a run to East Ferry 4, another beat to No.20 off Cobh and then a run down to East Ferry 2 and out of the harbour to Corkbeg and a finish line at Cage.

Scroll down for photo gallery

RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1RCYC OLeary League1

Results are here

Published in Cork Harbour
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Page 1 of 40

Dun Laoghaire Regatta –  From the Baily lighthouse to Dalkey island, the bay accommodates eight separate courses for 25 different classes racing every two years for the Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

In assembling its record-breaking armada, Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta (VDLR) became, at its second staging, not only the country's biggest sailing event, with 3,500 sailors competing, but also one of its largest participant sporting events.

One of the reasons for this, ironically, is that competitors across Europe have become jaded by well-worn venue claims attempting to replicate Cowes and Cork Week.

'Never mind the quality, feel the width' has been a criticism of modern-day regattas where organisers mistakenly focus on being the biggest to be the best.

Dun Laoghaire, with its local fleet of 300 boats, never set out to be the biggest. Its priority focussed instead on quality racing even after it got off to a spectacularly wrong start when the event was becalmed for four days at its first attempt.

The idea to rekindle a combined Dublin bay event resurfaced after an absence of almost 40 years, mostly because of the persistence of a passionate race officer Brian Craig who believed that Dun Laoghaire could become the Cowes of the Irish Sea if the town and the local clubs worked together.

Although fickle winds conspired against him in 2005, the support of all four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs since then (made up of Dun Laoghaire Motor YC, National YC, Royal Irish YC and Royal St GYC), in association with the two racing clubs of Dublin Bay SC and Royal Alfred YC, gave him the momentum to carry on.

There is no doubt that sailors have also responded with their support from all four coasts. Entries closed last Friday with 520 boats in 25 classes, roughly doubling the size of any previous regatta held on the Bay.

Running for four days, the regatta is (after the large mini-marathons) the single most significant participant sports event in the country, requiring the services of 280 volunteers on and off the water, as well as top international race officers and an international jury, to resolve racing disputes representing five countries.

Craig went to some lengths to achieve his aims including the appointment of a Cork man, Alan Crosbie, to run the racing team; a decision that has raised more than an eyebrow along the waterfront.

A flotilla of 25 boats has raced from the Royal Dee near Liverpool to Dublin for the Lyver Trophy to coincide with the event. The race also doubles as a RORC qualifying race for the Fastnet.

Sailors from the Ribble, Mersey, the Menai Straits, Anglesey, Cardigan Bay and the Isle of Man have to travel three times the distance to the Solent as they do to Dublin Bay. This, claims Craig, is one of the major selling points of the Irish event and explains the range of entries from marinas as far away as Yorkshire's Whitby YC and the Isle of Wight.

Until now, no other regatta in the Irish Sea area could claim to have such a reach. Dublin Bay weeks such as this petered out in the 1960s, and it has taken almost four decades for the waterfront clubs to come together to produce a spectacle on and off the water to rival Cowes.

"The fact that we are getting such numbers means it is inevitable that it is compared with Cowes," said Craig. However, there the comparison ends.

"We're doing our own thing here. Dun Laoghaire is unique, and we are making an extraordinary effort to welcome visitors from abroad," he added.

The busiest shipping lane in the country – across the bay to Dublin port – is to close temporarily to facilitate the regatta and the placing of eight separate courses each day.

A fleet total of this size represents something of an unknown quantity on the bay as it is more than double the size of any other regatta ever held there.

The decision to alter the path of ships into the port was taken in 2005 when a Dublin Port control radar image showed an estimated fleet of over 400 yachts sailing across the closed southern shipping channel.

Ships coming into the bay, including the high-speed service to the port, will use the northern lane instead.

With 3,500 people afloat at any one time, a mandatory safety tally system for all skippers to sign in and out will also operate.

The main attraction is undoubtedly the appearance of four Super Zero class yachts, with Dun Laoghaire's Colm Barrington's TP52 'Flash Glove' expected to head the 'big boat' fleet. At the other end of the technology scale, the traditional clinker-built Water Wags will compete just as they did at a similar regatta over 100 years ago.

The arrival of three TP 52s and a Rogers 46 to Dun Laoghaire regatta is a feather in the cap of organisers because it brings Grand Prix racing to Dublin bay and the prospect of future prominent boat fixtures on the East Coast.

With 38 entries, the new Laser SB3s are set to make a significant impact although the White Sail Class five almost rivals them numerically. The Fireball is the biggest dinghy class, with 27 entries, while there are 25 entries for the Ecover Half Ton Classics Cup which began on Monday.

Class 0 is expected to be the most hotly contested, if the recent Saab IRC Nationals, Scottish Series and Sovereign's Cup are any indication. Three Cork boats ­- Jump Juice (Conor and Denise Phelan), Antix Dubh (Anthony O'Leary) and Blondie (Eamonn Rohan) - are expected to lead the fleet.

(First published in 2009)

Who: All four Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Yacht clubs

What: Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Why: A combined regatta to make Dun Laoghaire the Cowes of the Irish Sea.

Where: Ashore at Dun Laoghaire and afloat at eight separate race courses on Dublin Bay. Excellent views from both Dun Laoghaire piers, Sandycove and Seapoint.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021

The 2021 Regatta runs from 8-11 July

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